September 2 2014

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Diane von Furstenberg Honors Women With Character


5th Annual DVF Awards

“I think it all comes from Diane,” explained Gloria Steinem. “She’s a person of courage and imagination, and we’ve lived in different worlds, but we’re coming together now.” The legendary activist was speaking fresh off her 80th birthday (“I don’t believe it for a minute!”) and in recognition of receiving one of Diane von Furstenberg’s DVF Awards.

The ceremony, which took place at the United Nations on Friday night, marked Von Furstenberg’s fifth annual celebration of extraordinary women, each of whom received a grant of $50,000 from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation to help propel and further their work as activists. “They all have character,” related Von Furstenberg of her selection process. “And you know, you could lose everything, but you never lose your character.”

The awardees—Steinem, who received a Lifetime Leadership Award; Cameroon political leader Kah Walla; peace activists Liron Peleg-Hadomi and Noha Khatieb; The Empowerment Plan founder and entrepreneur Veronika Scott; and HIV/AIDS activist Alicia Keys—represented a diverse cross-section of women taking action.

“It’s awesome to see DVF and the whole team put together this event,” exclaimed a (what else?) DVF-clad Estelle, who later performed for the crowd including the likes of Chanel Iman, Fran Lebowitz, Tina Brown (“Male or female, we don’t just love Diane, we want to be her!”), and Sarah Jessica Parker. “[Diane] could just be doing purely fashion, and she’s doing things that empower women,” continued Estelle. “The more women you acknowledge, the more women will be inspired to do things. To me, this is girls’ night on a big scale.”

More than that, “this award comes with the ability to make more good things happen,” added Steinem, who will be donating her grant to Equality Now’s global women’s human rights fund, Donor Direct Action. “It can make such a huge difference.”

Photo: Joe Schildhorn /

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